Will Martin scored a brilliant pair of podium finishes in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season finale at Brands Hatch this past weekend (14/15 November) to move up to fifth in the final drivers' standings and second in the rookie rankings. After a good showing at the last meeting at Snetterton, the East Sussex driver were determined to end a memorable first season in the one-make championship with some strong results alongside the Richardson Racing team. The Proceed Group backed racer enjoyed a very strong first day in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, setting the fastest time in Friday's opening free practice session and then going third quickest in the second outing. On Saturday, Martin put in a very strong performance and confirmed both his and the car's potential as he set the fourth fastest time. However, he unfortunately had his fastest lap time deleted as it was set under yellow flags at Druids. This meant he had to start from ninth for race one that afternoon Determined to bounce back from the penalty, the MT Drains, Lining Division and Trenchline Utilities supported driver made a strong start to the race in greasy conditions and was able to move up into eighth place as the rain began to fall. Martin began to close in on Ryan Ratcliffe and in-spite of the tricky conditions, he was able to execute a sensational overtake round the outside at Paddock Hill bend on lap 12. A safety car period soon after bunched the field up and put him in a strong position to make up more ground. When the race resumed, the 17 year old piled the pressure on his rivals ahead and was able to move up into fifth with four laps to go, before taking advantage of a two car collision up front to cross the line in third place. Post race, a penalty for the driver ahead of him meant he was then promoted to second. For the last race of the season on Sunday, Martin lined up in fourth position on the reverse grid. A superb start moved him into third and a competitive run in the dry conditions saw him fend off newly-crowned-champion Harry King for the first nine laps. Martin fought hard against King but just as he went past, the safety car was deployed. When the race restarted on lap 17, he immediately applied the pressure on the top three, determined to get back into the podium positions. The persistence paid off as an opportunity presented itself at Paddock Hill bend on the next lap and the teenage talent moved up into second place. He went on to fend off challenges from multiple opponents to take the chequered flag in sixth place. The Richardson Racing ace's fifth and sixth podium finishes of the season moved him up to fifth in the final championship standings, just one point off fourth, while two rookie class wins secured him the vice-champion honours in that class.
Will Martin: “Coming into the weekend, I really wanted to end what's been a great rookie season in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB on a high. It all started off very well on Friday as I was able to get up to speed with the car and the Brands Hatch Indy circuit very quickly and set quick laps in both practice sessions.
"Saturday I thought started off well with fourth place in qualifying but then we got the penalty which was really unfortunate. However, I knew that if I pushed hard and was smart in the race, I could get back up to the front of the field.
"That first race was wild; the rain added another challenge and it was difficult to keep the car from getting out of shape. The start went well and I was able to make up some good ground in the first half of the race.
"When the safety car came out, I knew it was my opportunity to try and score some more positions and points. I kept pushing hard and was able to position myself in the right place to take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves. In the end, I was very pleased to take second.
"Starting from fourth in Sunday's race, I had very high hopes and wanted to score one last podium finish. I knew I had the pace and a great start helped me jump up to third. I enjoyed battling with my rivals one last time and I was very pleased to get another second.
"I am incredibly grateful to my family and of course my sponsors for their support this season. Without them we wouldn't be able to go racing. I also have to say a big thank you to Andy, Gwyn and Lesley Richardson and the whole team at Richardson Racing for their continued hard work and support."
Image from Dan Bathie / Porsche GB.